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Thread: Breville 870 never gains pressure, chronic under extractions, any ideas?

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    Breville 870 never gains pressure, chronic under extractions, any ideas?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This is my 3rd espresso machine. I tried all the tips found in here from grind size/amount, tamped with the force of 1000 elephants, overflowing with fine grinds and the machine still gets zero pressure, the needle just barely moves.

    I watched the Breville official video and his needle moves with almost no tamping pressure so I can't figure out what the issue is.

    Breville has ignored all my support requests so I'm hoping for some help in here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    First thing to try I think is to put the rubber disc in the portafiller like for the cleaning cycle and hit the 2 cup button. On my machine the pressure gauge moves to the middle of the grey area, this will confirm if the gauge is working or not.
    And welcome to the forum.

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    lordmandrake,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

    While you have low pressure, are you getting any flow of coffee?

    What is the pressure like if you block the flow with the plastic disc?

    What coffee are you using?

    Barry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevillista View Post
    First thing to try I think is to put the rubber disc in the portafiller like for the cleaning cycle and hit the 2 cup button. On my machine the pressure gauge moves to the middle of the grey area, this will confirm if the gauge is working or not.
    And welcome to the forum.
    So I just tried this and the needle didn't move at all, not even a tiny bump. The machine is brand new, literally just out of the box yesterday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
    lordmandrake,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

    While you have low pressure, are you getting any flow of coffee?

    What is the pressure like if you block the flow with the plastic disc?

    What coffee are you using?

    Barry
    The pressure is zero but coffee does come out. It's shitty espresso though, watery and weak. I put the plastic disc in and still no pressure. Using arabica beans.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    You've got a faulty machine. Just pack it up and get an exchange, tell them that the pressure gauge is not working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevillista View Post
    You've got a faulty machine. Just pack it up and get an exchange, tell them that the pressure gauge is not working.
    I bought it on the internet though so I guess I'm just screwed. My old one finally broke after years of faithful service. Saved up for the Breville. Tapped now. Forced to be another Starbucks zombie until bonus time.

    So your pressure gauge will go into the middle range with just the plastic disc in there? Did it do that from the beginning, or did it take a few weeks before it fully pressurized?

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    where "on the internet"..?

    And Starbucks..... really..?
    does anyone actually drink that swill...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordmandrake View Post
    So your pressure gauge will go into the middle range with just the plastic disc in there? Did it do that from the beginning, or did it take a few weeks before it fully pressurized?
    :O

    Seriously?

    If coffee comes out, there is pressure. If you can produce coffee, and the machine is otherwise functioning fine, the gauge is superfluous anyway. Many machines don't even have them.

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    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    :O

    Seriously?

    If coffee comes out, there is pressure. If you can produce coffee, and the machine is otherwise functioning fine, the gauge is superfluous anyway. Many machines don't even have them.

    It may be superfluous to someone that knows what they're doing, however this guy is a beginner and the gauge is a great help on the learning curve.
    Anyway the machine is not functioning properly and I wouldn't be satisfied with it.

    Would you drive your car or teach someone to drive with no speedometer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevillista View Post
    Would you drive your car or teach someone to drive with no speedometer?
    The tractor and paddock-basher i learned to drive in had no speedometers.
    you drove to the conditions, feedback and the limits of the car/ road/ grip.

  12. #12
    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    How fresh are your beans? When were they roasted? Are you grinding on demand?

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    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordmandrake View Post
    I bought it on the internet though so I guess I'm just screwed. My old one finally broke after years of faithful service. Saved up for the Breville. Tapped now. Forced to be another Starbucks zombie until bonus time.

    So your pressure gauge will go into the middle range with just the plastic disc in there? Did it do that from the beginning, or did it take a few weeks before it fully pressurized?

    Yes, my machine the pressure was always there if the disc as in, no build up.
    Although the machine will work without the gauge, you're going to waste a lot of coffee getting it right as you can only go by time, look, and taste and that is not satisfactory imo.
    If you paid by credit card you must be covered by some sort of insurance, so get onto them and explain that you have faulty goods. The outfit you bought it from may surprise you and exchange it and you just pay return postage.
    Good luck anyway.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    The tractor and paddock-basher i learned to drive in had no speedometers.
    you drove to the conditions, feedback and the limits of the car/ road/ grip.
    So if you bought a brand new car and the speedometer wasn't working, what would you do?

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    Well I would need to drive it as fast as it can go to see if any part of the speedo's range wasn't working, if it was confined to the very low end of the scale.

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    Ummm i would make sure you are operating it correctly first. When using the backflush disk, pulling a 'shot' of water and stopping it, do you hear (and see) water whoosh into the driptray?

    If the gauge doesn't work and you can't get it replaced, it is not the end of the world. If analogies are your thing, its more like a RPM gauge in an automatic car rather than a speedo

    Some think the pressure gauge is more of a distraction to the new learner, and indeed most of the medium end machines don't have one. My HX has a pressure gauge that sits at the same value regardless of flow. Going by 'time, look, and taste' is waaaay more important than an arbitrary pressure reading. Have a look at a few resources on the net: start with a consistent dose and tamp, then vary the grind until you get a shot in 30 +/- 5 seconds.

    Javabeens question on what beans you are using is important... also what grinder do you have? You have a grinder, right?

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    Just to chuck in my second crack,
    When I first got my BES860 I had a similar problem with watery coffee no matter what.
    Turns out it was the stale supplied beans that got chucked in as a freebie.

    Get some freshly roasted beans, grind fine, and see if you can choke it.

    Also, are you putting the cleaning disc in the single filter basket? It fits much more snug in there than the double.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevillista View Post
    It may be superfluous to someone that knows what they're doing, however this guy is a beginner and the gauge is a great help on the learning curve.
    Anyway the machine is not functioning properly and I wouldn't be satisfied with it.
    It's besides the point (as this is apparently the OPs third machine), but I disagree - a gauge doesn't necessarily aid learning, and actually seems to confuse a lot of people (the OP for example). On a machine with an OPV they are even less useful.

    I get the impression that this was a "new" machine purchased privately online, with no hope of warranty and no funds for repair; hence my comment.

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    I too had this problem and I eventually found that it was caused by the grinder not grinding fine enough even on the finest setting.

    Firstly note that the pressure gauge is not the only thing to indicate that the pressure is insufficient. Also the speed it takes for the coffee to be extracted is a good indication. Ideally it should take between 25 and 30 seconds for the extraction to complete (the time between when coffee starts to flow and when the pump turns off).

    Correct grind, correct dosing (use the 'razor' to ensure it is correct until you get familiar with how to dose) and tamp method are also important to getting the extraction correct.

    Initially I took it back to HN who contacted Breville and was told the low pressure was caused by not using freshly roasted coffee bean (I was using beans purchased at a supermarket).
    This was NOT the primary cause and nowhere on the box or in the instructions does it state that freshnext of coffee bean roast can affect pressure.
    Sure freshly roasted coffee beans can make a difference to pressure not in my case it was the inbuilt coffee grinder.
    After purchasing some fresh ground coffee beans I still had to use grind setting 1 to obtain ideal pressure and extraction.
    I contacted Breville again who then sent a shim kit for the grinder. I used one shim (the 0.4mm one) which was very easy to install and then was able to set the grind setting back to 3.
    I feel that Breville has been treating me as a nuisance and as a company I am not impressed with them.

    I have since found many places on the internet of other users having the same problem and having to fit a shim kit (free of charge).

    Brickbats to Breville for treating me as they did and not having better quality control on their coffee machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jparnold View Post
    Initially I took it back to HN who contacted Breville and was told the low pressure was caused by not using freshly roasted coffee bean (I was using beans purchased at a supermarket).
    This was NOT the primary cause and nowhere on the box or in the instructions does it state that freshnext of coffee bean roast can affect pressure.
    Sure freshly roasted coffee beans can make a difference to pressure not in my case it was the inbuilt coffee grinder.
    It absolutely does.
    The extraction pressure is the direct result of resistance to flow through the puck - the two key factors here are:
    A) how much of the area is available to flow through - which is largely determined by grind size/shape
    B) viscosity - which is determined by what has been extracted into the water (which is affected by both coffee freshness and grind size).


    The reason you have to grind finer with older coffee is, in part, to compensate for the reduction in viscosity.

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    Point taken and I understand the reasons.

    I guess what I was on about was the fact that Breville claimed that my (no pressure) problem was caused by not using freshly roasted beans and this is NOT mentioned anywhere in their literature.

    Sure this (freshly roasted beans) did make a difference but I had to add a 0.4mm shim to enable me to grind at a setting 'higher' than 1 the finest setting (and still get a good coffee extraction.
    I had asked in another post if ground coffee (ground with the grinder set to 1 the finest setting) should feel similar to prepackage ground pepper and was advised that it should feel FINER than prepackaged ground pepper.

    Maybe I should have explained better and not used the word 'primary' (this was not the primary cause) - sorry.

    There are numerous comments on the internet (including Youtube videos) posted by people who had to install shims to obtain a grind fine enough for espresso even when using freshly roasted beans. Breville tried to fob me off telling me that the (only) reason was because I wasn't using freshly roasted beans. Not once, initially, did they say that the grinder might require shimming. It took me many (wasted) hours to work this out including comparing (via tests using the same beans) my machine with my daughter's which is exactly the same.

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    Just a follow up on what has happened since.

    Breville replaced the machine after their test indicated something was wrong with either the pressure gauge and/or pump.
    I had been using freshly roasted beans and still required a shim installed on the inbuilt grinder.

    Anyway the new machine worked much better WITHOUT a shim requiring a coarser grind (higher number setting on the grinder).

    BUT I recently ran out of the freshly roasted beans and in desperation loaded some Vittoria beans (from a supermarket). Guess what? Yes the pressure went down substantially and the extraction time was too fast. I needed to set the grinder to the finest grind.

    I am now a convert but now need to find a blend or single origin roasted bean that I prefer.
    MrJack likes this.

  23. #23
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Sounds like a perfect reason to try a sample pack: CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Roasted Coffee - Roasted Sample Pack


    Java "Roasted goodness" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    I probably would if the cost wasn't so high ($35 + $14 postage) when I can get 6 blends and a single origin at a roaster 10 minutes drive from where I live and save postage.

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    Pressure on the 870XL

    Like I said before, Try this:


    Grind coffee fine, 2 positions from maximum.

    Fill the port a filter 3/4 press hard without pushing against table. Top again high and press again almost to the rim. Clean the edges. Put in the lock. It has to be really tight.

    I had problems before following this routine. Now the needle goes up more than half the arch and my espresso has a beautiful top of cream.

    This machine, the BES870XL likes it really tight with coffee offering a lot of resistance.






    Quote Originally Posted by lordmandrake View Post
    This is my 3rd espresso machine. I tried all the tips found in here from grind size/amount, tamped with the force of 1000 elephants, overflowing with fine grinds and the machine still gets zero pressure, the needle just barely moves.

    I watched the Breville official video and his needle moves with almost no tamping pressure so I can't figure out what the issue is.

    Breville has ignored all my support requests so I'm hoping for some help in here.

  26. #26
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    Aranala I feel that by having to overdose to get a result your happy with that your masking an issue.

    my guess would be old beans or the grinder can’t grind fine enough. The numbers on a grinder are different for all grinder (ie1 on your machine may not equal 1 of other person machine) and as other said some grinders need to be re set using shins so can grind fine enough. Post 22 shows fresh vs stale beans result
    level3ninja likes this.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aranala View Post
    Like I said before, Try this:


    Grind coffee fine, 2 positions from maximum.

    Fill the port a filter 3/4 press hard without pushing against table. Top again high and press again almost to the rim. Clean the edges. Put in the lock. It has to be really tight.

    I had problems before following this routine. Now the needle goes up more than half the arch and my espresso has a beautiful top of cream.

    This machine, the BES870XL likes it really tight with coffee offering a lot of resistance.

    Yeh...like you said before...4 hours before your current post......when you are replying to a post that is more than 2 years old. And you don't seem to have noted that lordmandrake's problem was effectively solved by using fresh beans (though his original machine was faulty).

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    I was commenting on my recent problem and how I solved it with the hope of helping others. Thatīs all.



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